The Champions League and Europa League have reached the final-four stages – here are the big Cricket Soccer predictions for the week to come

Champions League

Liverpool – AS Roma

Both occupying third place in their respective leagues with a big point gap to the leaders, you wouldn’t say that Liverpool and AS Roma are realistic challengers for an even bigger competition like the Champions League. Yet they have reached the semi-final and one of the two are certain of a place in the final. Both sides played historic ties in the quarterfinals as Liverpool beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate, while Roma surprised everyone by beating Barcelona 3-0 in the Stadio Olimpico to turn around a 4-1 deficit.

The one thing that is really similar about the sides, is their team unity – it’s perhaps their biggest strength. The tie will kick off at Anfield on Tuesday where the Reds will be looking to take advantage of their ever-faithful home crowd. Besides the fans, manager Jürgen Klopp will also be counting on the magnificent Mohamed Salah who has been nothing sort of sensational all season, breaking record after record.

First leg result: Liverpool 3-1 AS Roma

Bayern Munich – Real Madrid

If you want to watch a five-star European game, you need to tune in on Wednesday for Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid. The clubs are truly European royalty and this encounter would be worthy of a Champions League final. Both have comfortably advanced to this stage, although Madrid did survive a Juve comeback in the last round only to be saved by an injury-time penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The teams don’t differ much in terms of quality throughout the team and it will probably be a close one. The decisive factor could prove to be efficiency in front of goal, which would give a slight advantage to Los Blancos taking in mind Ronaldo’s unbelievable goal scoring form since the turn of the year. In the first game, Bayern will play at home and therefore play in an offensive way as they are very capable of getting a positive result but will need to be wary of the deadly counter-attack from Zinedine Zidane’s men.

First leg resultBayern Munich 1-1 Real Madrid

Europa League

Arsenal – Atlético Madrid

After hearing that their manager will stop as Arsenal manager at the end of the season after 22 years of service, the Arsenal players will feel that they should win the Europa League to let Arsene Wenger go out on a high. Unfortunately for the Gunners, in the Europa League semi-final, they face a side that doesn’t have the word sympathy in its dictionary and especially excel in ruthlessness and recklessness.

We are obviously talking about Atlético Madrid here. Diego Simeone’s side needs this Europa League title to save a failed season. For the first leg, which will be played at the Emirates stadium, Atlético will aim for a draw to take home and then finish the job in Madrid. Judging by how Arsenal have coped with coming up against that game plan, Simeone might have found his perfect opponent to reach his desired result or maybe even more.

First leg result: Arsenal – Atlético Madrid 0-1

Olympique Marseille – Red Bull Salzburg

With some distance, the most low profile game of this European mid-week action will be played in Marseille. French giants Olympique Marseille will host surprise package, Austrian powerhouses Red Bull Salzburg in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final. It’s a stage where both clubs are not familiar with, Salzburg not at all and Marseille not in recent memory.

Marseille blew away highly tipped Red Bull Leipzig in the last round, while Salzburg also impressed by knocking out Lazio Roma. Both teams have a lot of firepower throughout their team and it leads to the prospect of an entertaining tie. Marseille will feel their European status might provide them the upper hand.


First leg result: Olympique Marseille 3-1 Red Bull Salzburg

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